This is taken from one of my new favorite blogs that I follow, what a great post I thought that I would share. Check out her blog its nothing short of a amazing read!
1. “Everyone can breastfeed if they try hard enough.”No, everyone can’t. Yes, the percentage of women who physically can’t is very small, but until there are no more Booby Traps – cultural and institutional barriers to breastfeeding- that entire line of thinking is off-limits. See also: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” and “If you want to badly enough, you can do it.”
2. “Formula is poison.”How would you feel if someone called the food you feed your infant “poison” or “garbage”? Talk about the facts on formula? Yes. Use pejoratives? No. We can discuss the risks of using formula without simultaneously shaming and belittling the moms who use it.
3. ”Moms should be smart enough to see through formula marketing.”Formula marketing is insanely effective. These companies wouldn’t spend bazillions of dollars on it if it didn’t work. And it doesn’t just work on the uneducated; it’s very savvy and appeals to moms of all backgrounds. It’s not a matter of being “smart enough”; it’s so pervasive that we can’t blame moms for not always seeing through it.
4. “Breast is best.”No. Breast is normal. Breastfeeding is the biological norm. Anything less is inferior by default. “Best” conjurs a notion of something that only a select few can achieve and sets formula up as the norm; we want to talk about breastfeeding as something that’s achievable for almost all moms. See Diane Wiessinger’s game-changing post on why this language is so problematic, “Watch Your Language.”
5. “Formula-feeding moms are lazy.”If we’re comparing using formula to directly breastfeeding the healthy, full-term infant, breastfeeding is a heck of a lot less work than formula-feeding. (Moms who pump a lot have more work than the direct breastfeeders, no doubt.) But preparing bottles, washing bottles, having to go buy formula: that’s more work than just putting baby to breast.
6. ”Moms who use formula don’t love/value their babies as much as moms who breastfeed.”Seriously? Come on. By and large, all moms are trying to do right by their babies and love them in ways words can’t fully describe. Sure, there are bad apples; but they’re onboth sides of the feeding debate. Breastfeeding ≠ good mom. Formula feeding ≠ bad mom. Parenting is so much more than how we feed our babies. Edited to add: See also, “Formula-feeding moms are selfish!”; how we feed our babies isn’t an automatic gauge of character. (Thanks Jessica from The Leaky Boob!)
7. “Take some fenugreek!”Insert any number of other token pieces of breastfeeding advice here. It’s downright dangerous for moms to speak in prescriptive terms when it comes to breastfeeding problems. Most of the time, it’s not that simple, anyway. “Eliminate __[diary, gluten, etc-]___.”; “Buy Reglan/Domperidone online.”; “You have too much foremilk.”; “You only make skim milk.” Some of it is innocuous enough (albeit wrong) and some of it stands to be pretty damaging. Sharing stories peer-to-peer is one thing; discussing things a professional should be addressing is another.
8. “You could have breastfed if _____.”Along the same lines as #7, Monday-morning quarterbacking a mom’s failed breastfeeding experience is a good way to rub salt in the wound. Unless she’s asking, and only if you have her whole history, it’s probably best to keep quiet with opinions –opinions! – on what might have saved her breastfeeding relationship.
9. “You’ll be able to breastfeed. It comes naturally, so don’t worry about it.”This gem is usually one that expecting moms encounter. We lost a whole generation – if not more – of breastfeeders. We don’t know how to breastfeed anymore (in general) because most of us didn’t grow up seeing it. So today, moms do need to study up and prepare. That’s not to say they need to research every worst-case scenario, but some prep is likely necessary. Breastfeeding might be natural, but it definitely doesn’t always come naturally.
10. “Facts don’t hurt. You make yourself feel guilty.”Really? A lot of moms use formula and they know the risks and the facts. They don’t feel good about them and they probably feel guilty. YES, we absolutely need to keep talking about the risks and the facts. But IGT, jobs without maternity leave, being misinformed by doctors: those things don’t discriminate. It could be any mom. Similarly, because one mom made it through X circumstance, doesn’t mean another mom should or will be able to.
Lactivists, advocates, breastfeeding supporters of all kinds (yes, including the ones who’ve used formula!): What do you think? Is it time to put an end to the phrases on this list? What would you add?
Now that we’ve covered those, check out the Top 10 Things Breastfeeding Advocates SHOULD Say!